What's the goal of the event? Are you looking to share information? Create relationships? Explore something new together?
Is the audience clearly defined?
Choose an event name that is clear, compelling, and exciting.
Create consistent naming and branding as a group over time
Does it hang together? Have you chosen a format, name, venue, and time that will be compelling to your audience and will meet your goals?
User group meetings can incorporate any of the formats above.
See Event Marketing for tips on getting the word out
Try to get people from the group to present. Presenting can lead to more group leadership & ownership.
Other places to source speakers
Post the pictures of the people who’ll be presenting at your event, link to their website or LinkedIn page. (Example: DFWIUG Past Speakers list)
It looks good and and attracts people.
It acknowledges presenters’ expertise and helps them get their personal brand out there.
If you do really advanced topics, you’ll have a smaller event. But that might be what you want.
Venues might include
Autodesk offices, if you're near one and there's space available (contact us)
Autodesk partner offices
Choose a venue or online platform to match your format & goals
Don't be afraid to rearrange the furniture to enable people flow and conversation, based on your goals & agenda.
Location, location, location - it’s crucial!
Accessibility by public transport
Compelling space or neighborhood - where people want to go
If you're in a major city, find a central location to host the event so everyone can attend and drive the same distance.
It's a good idea to create a spreadsheet of local venues that your group might use, with contact information. This is a good shared resource for leaders.
Make sure you know any rules that might be imposed by the venue (e.g. no outside food)
Be careful of food and drink costs at venues like conference centers. They may be significantly marked-up.
For larger events, you may need a venue that offers multiple rooms.
Do a site visit